AuthorFridena, Richard Henry
AdvisorSlaughter, Sheila A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis is a case study of one state's community college presidents as an organized power network. I examine community college leadership as a function of group or class interests and social and institutional environments. Institutional leadership is not seen as the efforts of a single leader in a single institution. This case study uses a Delphi survey and content analysis to explore the general and specific transmission mechanisms of class interests, structural dependence, and power networks. The Delphi survey examined class formation and interests through identifying the consensus ideology held by community college presidents. Content analysis of the minutes of a statewide community college presidents' organization identified collective presidential concerns and actions. Content analysis of the minutes of local community college district governing boards identified institutional decision making related to collective presidential interests. Together, the Delphi survey and content analyses led to interpretations regarding statewide structural dependence on community college presidents and their operating as an organized power network, both micro-level social mechanisms involved in system reproduction. I have drawn the following conclusions about community college presidents and institutional decision making (1) Community college leadership can be understood as the result of group or class interests. (2) Community college presidents are powerful and dominant actors in the community college system. (3) Community college presidents can be shown to have organized into elite power networks. (4) Community college presidents in this case study occupy central positions that have local governing boards, the state board, affiliated associations, and top administrators, to a greater or lesser degree, in structurally dependent positions. (5) Community college presidents, as a collective, shape institutional decisions across individual community colleges. (6) Community college presidents, as educational leaders of "democracy's colleges," do not embrace democratic mechanisms.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Study of Higher Education